Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 17: The #Cybils Awards, #WRAD17, Schools and #Play

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. A highlight this week is the fact that the Cybils Award winners were announced on Tuesday (Valentine's Day). Other topics this week include #BookGivingDay, #BookLists, #math, book selection, bullying, charter schools, friendship, growing bookworms, libraries, play, reading, schools, screentime, student volunteers, Valentine's Day, World Read Aloud Day, writing. 

Book Lists

WormLovesWormFor Valentine's Day: 10 Great #PictureBooks about Love – #BookList from @tashrow https://t.co/uWEepbw4hv

28 Black #PictureBooks That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball | Scott Woods  http://ow.ly/vWod3092nj8  #BookList #DiverseBooks

A curated #BookList from The Classroom Bookshelf to align with @litworldsays 7 strengths (curiosity etc) for #WRAD17 http://ow.ly/8imL3094tS5 

Cybils

Cybils-Logo-2016-Round-SmThe 2016 #cybils winners are LIVE http://tinyurl.com/zb55bra  #kidlit #ya #poetry #graphicnovels #nonfiction + more.  Thanks to all our judges!

5 Multicultural #Cybils Chapter Book Nominees, highlights from R1 judge Claire Noland  #DiverseBooks #kidlit http://ow.ly/IcB8308YgzW 

#Cybils Announcements Coming Tomorrow | judge @gail_gauthier runs down #YA speculative fiction finalists #kidlit http://ow.ly/j2oX308YfhD 

Happy 11th Blogiversary to @MsYingling, long-time #cybils category chair for middle grade fiction  http://ow.ly/fmH73094uI6 

Diversity

Multicultural Statistics for 3400 books received by @CCBCwisc in 2016 http://ow.ly/6bnF3092Vge  #DiverseBooks #kidlit #YA

Events + Programs

WRAD1712 Apps & Websites for World Read Aloud Day (or any day!)  #WRAD17 @litworldsays  @classtechtips  http://ow.ly/7An0308Yhho  #ReadAloud

Building a World of Empathy Through the Simple Yet Profound Act of #ReadingAloud @pamallyn @ReadBrightly  http://ow.ly/gvG33092VGy  #WRAD17

Celebrate World Read Aloud Day #WRAD17 on 2/16 w/ these free online + offline resources @Scholastic http://ow.ly/L2zN3092moN 

BookGivingDayBlogBadgeIn addition to #ValentinesDay + #Cybils Day today is International #BookGivingDay 2017  @bookgivingday | Give books! http://ow.ly/9Lbr3090lHQ 

Valentines for Walking Books: A Student Volunteer Success Story from @abbylibrarian that brightened my day http://ow.ly/GEyl3090mv7 

Growing Bookworms

On Kids Who Delight in Characters Behaving Badly by @kirleclerc @nerdybookclub http://ow.ly/rGCB308Yh4A  #JunieBJones + more

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Willems_elephants_cant_danceLife lessons in “best friend” easy readers @teddyballgame83 @HornBook  http://ow.ly/Wa0m308TLhb  #kidlit @The_Pigeon #FrogAndToad

When They Still Just Hate to Write… | Some tips for how parents + teachers can support #writing @pernilleripp https://t.co/YUS7EAD6Th

Comical Information | Jennifer Wharton discusses + recommends #nonfiction #GraphicNovels @sljournal https://t.co/axqj1wHZrt

So Many Books, So Little Time: Tips for #Reading Strategically | @donalynbooks @nerdybookclub  http://ow.ly/Ojh4308YfHP  | Abandon books +more

A Good Scare: How Horror Books Can Help Kids Conquer Their Fears | @CurtisJobling @ReadBrightly  http://ow.ly/EYRJ3095grb  #kidlit

Schools and Libraries

CreativeBlockPlayReviews of three new books for #educators on the Importance of #Play @sljournal  http://ow.ly/YKi23090tyn 

Are teachers harming kids by assigning #screentime in class + #homework asks @Screensandkids @BAMRadioNetwork https://t.co/5gv5gqy81Q

How Access to Nature During The #School Year Can Help Students Thrive | Leah Shaffer @MindShiftKQED http://ow.ly/7VOT308XDX3  #Play

Not surprising, but worth reading: School bullying linked to poorer academic achievement @DailyGenius @drdouggreen https://t.co/rqZs8Ii4Xw

Hidden Digital Spaces (like @Twitter chats) Where Innovation in #Education is Brewing http://ow.ly/8oP6308TptQ  @MIND_Research #Collaboration

Buh-bye Barriers - A call from @lochwouters Stop #Library Fines + improve access http://ow.ly/DisS308ToZk [See also this followup: http://ow.ly/hx8P3090DA9]

Parent shares why she (and others she knows) chose #CharterSchool for her daughter @anaperiodista @HuffingtonPost https://t.co/0Jz6vO6gJj

In the age of robots, our #schools are teaching children to be redundant| @GeorgeMonbiot @guardian on other ways https://t.co/nIJlVdwqxu

STEM

Examples of (and motivation for) using #Math Talk with Preschoolers @easycda @BAMRadioNetwork  http://ow.ly/yQRd3092m59  #STEM #ECE

In Call for Early #STEM Learning, #Libraries Cited as Potential ‘Charging Stations’ | Lisa Jacobson @sljournal https://t.co/V3lFp17ee4

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Stinky Spike: The Pirate Dog: Peter Meisel and Paul Meisel

Book: Stinky Spike: The Pirate Dog
Author: Peter Meisel
Illustrator: Paul Meisel
Pages: 80
Age Range: 5-7 (Illustrated early reader, full-color)

StinkySpikeStinky Spike: The Pirate Dog kicks off a new series in Bloomsbury's Read & Bloom line of early readers with full color illustrations. Written by Peter Meisel and illustrated by Paul Meisel, the book introduces Spike, a dog who works at a shipyard chasing away birds, and who excels at chasing down bad smells. One day, in the course of his duties, Spike falls in the water and is swept out to sea, saved only by an old wooden bucket full of bits of rotten fish. After some adventures on the high seas, Spike is taken in by a crew of a rather inept pirates, who christen him Stinky Spike. But can Stinky Spike's strong nose help the pirate crew in their quest for treasure? 

Peter Meisel's text is kid friendly, full of strong, alliterative sentences, not too difficult for newer readers. Like this:

"Spike was in trouble. "Scram, flappers!" he howled as he bolted at the birds.

But there was a patch of slippery, slimy seaweed on the dock. Spike's paws slid out from under him. He skidded off the edge of the dock.

SPLASH! Spike landed in the ocean." (Page 18)

And here are the pirates talking:

"Crusty clam shells! This sea dog stinks worse than rotten anchovies." Zip gagged.

"Or spoiled sardine stew!" Zelda choken.

"Blimey, that's quite a stench. What be your name, mutt?" Fishbeard scowled.

Bonus points for the ship having a female first-mate. With an eye patch, no less. 

Pirates, a dog, and a host of bad smells. What is not to like for the kindergarten and first grade crowd? Stinky Spike: The Pirate Dog has three chapters, wide text spacing, and at least a half-page of illustration for every page spread. Paul Meisel's illustrations are full of entertaining details, like fish literally poking out of Captain Fishbeard's beard. He uses wavy lines to indicate the presence of bad smells, of which there are many. The pirates are ragged but not at all intimidating, and Spike himself is an intrepid, if pungent, figure. In short, this is a fine addition to the ranks of early readers. A second installment, Stinky Spike and the Royal Rescue, releases on the same day as the first (though I have not seen that one). I suspect that Stinky Spike will be a hit with the primary-grade crowd, and that other titles will be forthcoming. Recommended, especially for libraries serving new readers. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (@BloomsburyKids)
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: February 15: Picture Books, Literacy Milestones, and Reading Choice

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have four book reviews (all picture books) and a post with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (dying to finish a book and having to wait). I also have one post in which I recount several smaller steps along my daughter's path to literacy, and two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter.

Reading Update: In the past two weeks I sadly only completed one book. I read: 

  • Ingrid Thoft: Duplicity (Fina Ludlow). G.P. Putman's Sons. Adult Mystery. Completed February 4, 2017, on Kindle. This PI series is a bit dark, but I like the Boston (and surrounding suburbs) setting. 

Usually I at least get in audiobook reading time, but due to an illness, I've been unable to exercise, and hence even my audiobook reading time has been significantly curtailed.  I'm currently listening to W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton and reading The Most Frightening Story Ever Told by Philip Kerr. I have some travel coming up and do hope to get more reading time in soon. 

MouseScouts2My husband and I are just about finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling to our daughter. We decided that we wanted to listen to the last 2 chapters together as a family, and finding time for that has been a little tricky.  She continues to read from chapter books on her own. Most recently she became very excited about reading The BFG by Roald Dahl. I warned her that it might be a bit too challenging to be enjoyable, but she delighted in being able to tell people that she was reading a 240 page chapter book. It was a hard read, though, with a lot of made up words and the giant speaking in grammatically questionable sentences. She has now put it aside for a Mouse Scouts book by Sarah Dillard that I think will be a better fit. I try to mind my own business as much as possible, and let her figure things out on her own. You can find her 2017 reading list here

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Pax and Blue: Lori Richmond

Book: Pax and Blue
Author: Lori Richmond
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3-6

PaxAndBluePax and Blue by Lori Richmond is the story of a friendship between a small boy and a blue-tinged pigeon. Pax and Blue meet every day on a bus stop, where they greet one another with words and coos, respectively. Every day, Pax shares a bit of his toast with Blue, as a gesture of friendship. However, one day Pax's mother is late, and drags him away before he can share his customary crumbs with Blue. Not understanding, Blue follows Pax all the way onto a subway car, where his appearance causes a bit of a scene. Luckily, Pax knows what to do the, and both pigeon and friendship are saved.

Richmond's text is straightforward and just a touch sentimental. Like this:

"But this morning was different.
Pax knew little ones can get rushed along--
Especially when Mom can't be late.

But Blue didn't understand." 

The "little ones" in the above, as well as another reference to it being not "so easy being little" on the previous page, make me think that Pax and Blue is a better fit for preschoolers than for older kids. There's a pathos to statements like "Blue was lost, and didn't know the way out" that support this, too. 

For me, what makes the book are Richmond's illustrations. Pax and Blue are always shown in brighter whites and colors, while the background and most characters are in more muted shares of gray and purple. Pax, with his huge glasses and worried face, is charming, and Blue's quiet sadness when Pax passes him by is touching. A favorite page for young listeners is sure to be a spread in which we see just Blue's face, eyes enormous and white, and the text "Uh oh" (prior to Blue being noticed on the subway car). 

It's also nice to see the urban setting of the book, too, something still less common than suburbia in picture books. Pax and Blue are two friends sure to win the hearts of many preschoolers. Pax and Blue would make a nice book for a library storytime, or a comforting bedtime read-aloud. 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (@SimonKids)
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Literacy Milestone: The Delightful Frustration of Wanting to Finish a Book (and having to stop)

LiteracyMilestoneA HarryPotterBook2IllustratedThe other morning my daughter and I finished the 15th chapter (out of 18) of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. She was on the edge of her seat during the scene with the spiders, copying any expressions described (wide eyes and open mouths, e.g.), and pacing around the breakfast table. We had to cover the pictures in the book - they were too much. We read past our usual school morning time limit, because we could hardly stop with Ron and Harry in peril. 

When I told her that the next chapter was called "The Chamber of Secrets" she gasped. She didn't know what to do with herself. She was stammering things about wanting to know what happened next, and wishing she could just stay home to finish. And I … did not keep her home from school. But I knew exactly how she felt. This was the first time I've seen her truly on the edge of her seat, needing to know what would happen next and unable to find out right away.

Welcome to life as a lover of books, kid. Sometimes there are other commitments. But I do suspect that we will be finishing the book soon.

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 10: #BlackHistoryMonth, Sidekicks, #Play + Questions

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BlackHistoryMonth, #BookLists, #JoyOfLearning, #STEM, anti-Nazi stories, coding, collaboration, diverse books, growing bookworms, kidlitosphere, kindness, parenting, play, raising readers, schools, superheroes, and teaching.

Book Lists

ASplashOfRed40+ Compelling African-American History Books for Children, a @momandkiddo #BookList http://ow.ly/xFOK308M1L0  #kidlit #BlackHistoryMonth

100 Best Children's Books for African American History Month @KarinaYanGlaser @BookRiot  http://ow.ly/UOAv308OjOA  #BlackHistoryMonth #kidlit

Diversity + Gender

3 Reasons Why We Need More #YA Books About Girls Who Play Sports | Representation Matters @TeenVogue @briafel https://t.co/KZhDrMP5mb

Why children’s books that teach diversity are more important than ever by @bjepstein @ConversationUS  http://ow.ly/enYp308Okkr  #DiverseBooks 

Events and Programs

HiddenFiguresHow To Use Stories To Teach Children Black History from @mamasmiles  http://ow.ly/VYou308OSJl  #BlackHistoryMonth #parenting

Growing Bookworms

Useful advice here: Granting #Readers Permission to Abandon Books by @heisereads  http://ow.ly/2y8E308M6cz  #RaisingReaders

Kidlitosphere

She had run out of books to read. What she did next will amaze you! Happy 10th anniv of blogging to @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/tBHJ308M4Tv 

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PaddingtonBearThe most obvious anti-Nazi stories around #kidlit and that come straight out of children’s books by @FuseEight http://ow.ly/CweD308M5bZ 

A very fun post from @mrskatiefitz that I identified with | Why I Love Sidekicks http://ow.ly/qhY1308Op7r 

Parenting

The importance of being kind to yourself, especially for moms, from @CoffeeandCrayon   #ChooseKindness #parenting http://ow.ly/JUGN308M31h 

Children encouraged to dress like Batman, Superman or Iron Man tend to focus more to overcome obstacles @SueSWSJ https://t.co/mBNB3gp8Xz

Play

Tools of the Mind: Teaching Children Self-Regulation through #Play by Dr. Deborah Leong at @FirstBook  http://ow.ly/VmSb308Osdn 

15 Ways for Kids to #Play Inside This Winter | @MelissaAndDoug @HuffingtonPost  http://ow.ly/VRpo308OSnH  #TakeBackChildhood

Schools and Libraries

PassionateLearnersOn the need to teach kids to question + discuss in school, not be silent + compliant by @pernilleripp http://ow.ly/CUlq308Oo6M  #JoyOfLearning

Motivation for Learning: Competition Vs. Collaboration w/ ideas for the classroom (like no grades) from @mssackstein https://t.co/S84JOWm6to

How to Nurture Empathic Joy in Your Classroom @GreaterGoodSC @drdouggreen http://ow.ly/OJ67308M3RV  #JoyOfLearning #teaching

STEM

Why Learning to Code is so Important for Children @Lynch39083 via @drdouggreen  http://ow.ly/aeeb308M3qM  #STEM #coding

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Adrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears: Jessica Olien

Book: Adrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears
Author: Jessica Olien
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8

AdriftAdrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears by Jessica Olien is a tale of how opposites not so much attract, but rather come to appreciate one another gradually over time. Hazel is a book-loving polar bear who just wants to be left alone to read. Olien calls her shy, but I would classify her as introverted. Karl is an extrovert who loves to talk, and who wants to be noticed. He also smells like fish. They do not approve of one other. However, when an iceberg breaks off from the shore, taking only Karl and Hazel with it, the two opposites gradually learn to get along. 

This premise could have come across as didactic, but Olien keeps things light. I think that the book's 40 page length helps, giving her time to develop the two characters, and their rapprochement, slowly. She also uses the device that the iceberg is melting, forcing the two bears to physically become closer over time (and lending a small bit of worry that they might not make it to another shore at all). 

It could be that I just identified with Hazel, of course. Here is how she is introduced (wearing an orange scarf and reading Moby Dick):

"She doesn't talk very much.
She likes to sit and daydream in a 
quiet spot by the water." 

So of course I love her. But I also liked this exchange, as the two start to accept that they are stuck together:

"Of all the polar bears, Karl is stuck with
the one who doesn't like to talk.

Of all the polar bears, Hazel is stuck with
the one who talks too much."

Karl has a delightfully nervous expression, while Hazel stands with hands on hips.  The bottom line is that the two polar bears are well-defined characters, their described personalities reinforced by their actions, and by Olien's bold illustrations. I like them, and found myself rooting for them, even as I smiled over them building a wall of ice blocks to divide up their little floating island. The happy ending will make young readers smile.

Adrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears is an appealing book about friendship, survival, and learning that opposite personalities can complement one another. It could also be used by parents to introduce the concept of introverts vs. extroverts, those these exact terms are not used in the book. Recommended for library purchase, and an especially good fit for fans of books about polar bears. 

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Things to Do: Elaine Magliaro & Catia Chien

Book: Things to Do
Author: Elaine Magliaro
Illustrator: Catia Chien
Pages: 40
Age Range: 4-8

ThingsToDoThings to Do, written by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chen, is a book of short poems, each focused on something a child might encounter as she makes her way through the day. Topics begin with "Things to do if you are dawn" and move on through nature (acorns, spiders, the sun, the moon) and school (erasers and scissors) and on to nighttime. 

Elaine Magliaro's poems are joyful and read-aloud friendly. Some are quite brief, like this: 

"Things to do if you are BOOTS
Splish in puddle.
Splash on the walk.
Make the fallen
raindrops talk."

While others are longer, particularly those later in the book. While the poems technically speak to the item in question (e.g. the sky), they often offer advice useful to the reader, too. For example, "Things to do if you are a snail" concludes:

"The wonders of your world are small.
Don't hurry by.
Enjoy them all." 

Good advice for snails and kids, even as addressing the advice to the snail keeps the book from feeling didactic for kids. Nicely done! 

The poems are presented using varied fonts, with important words shown larger for emphasis (splish and splash above, for example). The word "stretch" is shown stretched out on another page, while the letters in "bumpy" bump up and down. This is definitely a book to look at while reading it, not just one to listen to. 

This visual display of the words is set against Catia Chen's luminous acrylic illustrations. The blurred edges of the pictures contrast with the crispness of the fonts, allowing words to stand out, even against full-page illustrations. The (somewhat androgynous) child seen on the cover makes an appearance in most, but not all, of the pages, interacting joyfully with her surroundings. The image surrounding the last poem, about the moon, brings Peter Pan's London to mind. 

If you are looking to introduce a young reader in your household to the beauty of poetry and the wonders of nature, Things to Do would be a great place to start. I could also see this as a classroom read-aloud for second or third graders, though I think it's a bit long for library storytime. Recommended, and a book that brightened my day.  

Publisher: Chronicle Kids (@ChronicleKids
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Not Quite Milestones: Little Steps along the Path to Literacy

LiteracyMilestoneAAs regular readers know, I occasionally post about my daughter's milestones along her path to literacy. Recently there haven't been any major leaps, but I've noticed a bunch of incremental incidents that I thought readers might find entertaining.  And if not, well, my daughter and I will still have these posts to look back on ourselves. Some of these are follow-up to things that I've written about previously. Others are just, well, reading-related:

WheresWalrusPenguinMissing Picture Books: Recently we went through about a two-week period in which we did not read any picture books. This was because we were reading the first two Harry Potter books, and my daughter was so consumed with those that she had no time for anything else. However, about a third of the way through the Chamber of Secrets, I mentioned something in passing about how missed picture books.

Coincidence or not I am not sure but several days later she asked my husband to read her picture books before bed, instead of Harry Potter. When he asked about it she said: "I miss picture books." And well she should! Picture books are not supposed to fall completely by the wayside once kids start reading chapter books, even if they do take a different position. For the past few days we've been back to reading picture books. The other day, noticing the large stack of review books that I had on the breakfast table she remarked: "We have a lot of catching up to do." We do, and it's going to be great fun.

DoryFriendTaking Partial Ownership of Bedtime Reading: Last night my daughter proposed that we alternate nights for bedtime reading. One night she would read to herself. The next night my husband would read to her. And the the next night I would read to her. And so on. She then proceeded to finish the second Dory Fantasmagory book, along with a Babymouse book and a Lunch Lady book. I'm not actually sure what time she went to sleep. I don't know if this particular rotation plan will stick, but I do like the idea that she wants to do some reading on her own and some reading with us. [Plus, the nighttime reading is difficult for me, because I get up early, and I tend to get sleepy...]

ExtremeBabymouseUnderstanding and Wanting to Share Inside Jokes from Books: She actually came to find me as she was reading Extreme Babymouse last night, because she had come across something hilarious and wanted to share. She had found a cameo of Lunch Lady in the Babymouse book. She was as excited as if she had run across her best friends while we were out to eat somewhere. I was especially pleased that she made a point of showing me the set-up for the cameo, as well as the result. She wanted me to really appreciate it. 

Recognizing Illustrators: My daughter recognizes the work of an ever-increasing list of illustrators. The most recent incident was this morning, when we read the upcoming Hats Off to You! by Karen Beaumont and LeUyen Pham. We didn't even get past the cover before she pointed at one of the girls and said: "I know who this author must be, because she is in a Princess in Black book." I clarified illustrator vs. author, but overall thought it was good recognition. We also received some board books by Junzo Terada, and she picked those out from the cover, too. We enjoy Terada's A Good Home for Max (review). 

PaxAndBlueGuessing Book Dedications: We were reading a new book called Pax and Blue, about a boy and a pigeon.  After reading it I mentioned that I had seen in the end material that the author, Lori Richmond, got the idea for the book from an incident that her son witnessed. My daughter said: "Probably she dedicated this book to her son." We looked, and sure enough, the book appears to be dedicated to her two sons (though we can't know for sure).

Choosing Audiobook over Tablet (at least once): My daughter has been listening to Elizabeth Enright's The Saturdays when we're in the car together. She's not so hooked that she has asked to listen to it in the house (as happened with Pippi Longstocking). However, the other night we were going out to dinner, and the drive was going to be long enough that we would have allowed her the tablet (we have a 30 minute drive minimum for that, because otherwise I start to feel like a chauffeur). She thought about that, and then asked for the book, because she wanted to also sort and count some things she had collected. 

None of these incidents is, perhaps, a major milestone. But together, they show a child who enjoys reading now and who is well-positioned to love books as she gets older. And that latter point is one of my greatest hopes. 

Thanks for reading, and for caring about children's literacy! 

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 3: Scholastic Reading Report, Audiobooks + #Kidlit Trends

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, audiobooks, book fair, books for toddlers, equity in education, free speech, gender bias, growing bookworms, joy of learning, libraries, media, parenting, reading, reading aloud, reading choice, and recess.

Book Lists

JamberryWe have (or had) most of these: 23 Classic Toddler Books, #BookList from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/D3QK308v5GQ  #kidlit

This is a nice #BookList from @TrevorHCairney | 240 Great Children's Books for All Ages (by age range) http://ow.ly/WLv2308xzHW  #kidlit

Diversity + Gender

How teachers can minimize the gender bias (more passive girls) that still exists in the classroom @WordLib @edutopia https://t.co/EBPgoJDgDo

4 Ways to Add #Diversity to Your #HomeLibrary | @growingbbb @Scholastic   #DiverseBooks #reading http://ow.ly/Rwdx308xEms 

Events + Programs

RadiantbookThe 25th African American Children’s Book Fair is this Saturday 2/4 in PA | @brownbookshelf  #DiverseBooks #kidlit https://t.co/Md6sgn7ZSq

Growing Bookworms

3 Ways To Grow Independent Readers in the classroom + why love of reading is important http://ow.ly/HyLT308v9tc  @ReadByExample @TeachThought

.@Scholastic Releases New National Research on Kids + Family Reading @infodocket  http://ow.ly/DXYA308xFQT | #ReadingAloud has increased!

Download the @Scholastic Kids + Family #Reading Report #KFRR plus infographics here: http://ow.ly/CILP308xGxw  New focus on #Diversity

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

AlcatrazKnights

Making Sick Days Better with @audible_com by @everead  http://ow.ly/z9Gb308uUVq  | I love #audiobooks too!

This post by Jason @escapeadulthood on his son's birthday choices made me remember a really great day (spent reading) in my own life https://t.co/8Djvy9pKp4

Truth here: 12 Things All Bookworms Have Said at One Point or Another @ImaginationSoup @ReadBrightly  http://ow.ly/wWvm308AlvO  #reading

This may be useful to you: How to Create a Twitter List of Reliable Media Sources @ReadByExample https://t.co/ECAmnZbDXu

Roundup of Various Trends and Themes in Middle Grade Speculative Fiction 2016 from @semicolonblog  http://ow.ly/Xf84308zKyw  #kidlit

IfYouEverCircus-385x500Steam Trains and Fire Poles: Outdated Tropes in #PictureBooks@fuseeight  http://ow.ly/iF06308zJQU 

Parenting

Latino Dads Improve #Parenting Skills via classes on #ReadingAloud To Their Kids @NPRHealth @scotthensley https://t.co/NqG58JYZcA

Important: How and Why you should keep your children "Passionately Curious" from @NotJustCute https://t.co/KwBJpS4mwP

Schools and Libraries

Author + reading advocate Andy McNab says joyless education is damaging poor UK children's literacy @GuardianBooks https://t.co/yWC9mQEBjg

This I like: How State Lawmakers Can Restore Freedom (of Speech) on Public College Campuses @WSJ https://t.co/CXNwgTr0nF

Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge #Schools To Rethink #Recess @sososophia16 @npr_ed  http://ow.ly/ourO308zMva  @SHAPE_America

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


When An Elephant Falls in Love: Davide Cali & Alice Lotti

Book: When an Elephant Falls in Love
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Alice Lotti
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4-8

WhenAnElephantWhen an Elephant Falls in Love, by Davide Cali and Alice Lotti, is a rather charming little picture book about the foolish things that a person (well, an elephant) might do upon having a crush on someone. While some of these things are funnier when an elephant does them (such as hiding whenever he sees her), the actions themselves are universal. Like dressing with extra care or lying staring at the clouds for hours. Here's my favorite: 

"When an elephant falls in love,
he leaves flowers at her door.

But he runs away after ringing the bell."

We see the elephant shyly approaching the door with the flowers clasped in his trunk, and then the flowers lying at the foot of the front steps. Both text and illustrations are quite spare (the above is about the most text-dense page spread), with lots of white space, leaving room for the reader's own imagination. 

Although I personally love this book, I do have to point out that I'm not quite sure who the audience for it is. Your average first grade boy, while he might have a crush on a girl, is not taking extra baths or leaving flowers outside the girl's door. He is more likely to be punching his crush in the arm or chasing her on the playground. The actions taken by the elephant feel more like those of a middle schooler, if not an adult.

Then again, my daughter likes watching certain G-rated depictions of people falling in love in movies, so perhaps an audience for this book is five to seven-year-old girls. And if the "foolish" things that the elephant undertakes were to influence a generation of young boys to move from spitballs to flowers, this would certainly not be a bad thing. 

Recommended for those who would like to see a sweet portrayal of the goofiness that can accompany falling in love. 

Publisher: Chronicle Kids (@ChronicleKids
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2017 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: February 1: Book Reviews, Narrative Voice, and the Joys of Reading with Kids

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have four book reviews (picture book and middle grade) and a quick post about the importance for me of narrative voice. I also have one post linking to an article about reading with kids, two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and a post with excerpts from and responses to three #JoyOfLearning related articles that I read recently.

Reading Update: In the past two weeks I read three middle grade and three adult novels, as well as two adult nonfiction titles. I read/listened to: 

FrighteningStoryI'm currently listening to W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton and reading The Most Frightening Story Ever Told by Philip Kerr. I have some travel coming up and have a couple of adult novels saved up on my Kindle. 

My husband and I are still reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling to our daughter. She's also listening to The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright when we're in the car. We went for a couple of weeks without reading any picture books because she was so consumed by Harry Potter, but she has recently started asking for picture books again, which I think is a good thing. She's showing some interest in nonfiction, and enjoyed Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History by Walter Dean Myers and Floyd Cooper. She is trying to get the Revolutionary and Civil Wars straight in her head. You can find her 2017 reading list here. I'm working on a full post with a bunch of mini-milestones in her reading, and you can expect that to be in the next newsletter issue. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook